Life · Sojourns

How to use your car less

Every car on the road contributes to traffic congestion and noise and air pollution (greenhouse gas emission). Have you ever asked yourself what you can do to minimize pollution, for instance? Interestingly, you asked yourself such a question while you are sitting comfortably inside your car. Yes, that’s the answer – use your car less! Here’s how.

Walk or ride a bike

When traveling shorter distances, you might as well walk. Brisk walking, for instance, has many benefits, including making your legs stronger. If you buy groceries, bring with you a shopping trolley, so you won’t need to hand-carry everything. If walking is not possible, why don’t you ride a bike instead? This can also improve your health and much cheaper than traveling in a car. You can also experience your neighborhood in the truest sense of the word.

Thought to ponder: Did you know that Americans spend about 1/5 of their monthly income on paying for car-related expenses such as amortization, insurance, car wash, repair, parking fee, tools, etc.?

Combine trips

If you are doing multiple short trips often, considering combining these. For instance, you may buy household supplies after picking the kids from school. Check where you can go car-lite further by organizing your errands and knowing which of these can be replaced by an email or phone call instead. These are definitely much cheaper than the cost of fuel. If possible, avoid using your car during peak hours since you will spend a long time in the car and use more fuel than what’s necessary. 

Thought to ponder: Did you know that, in the US, car ownership is the second largest expense, spending more on cars than on food and healthcare?


Carpooling, or car-sharing, is not a new concept. If you and your friends are going somewhere, arrange the trip ahead so that you’ll use just one car instead of one car each. Anyhow, a trip is made more enjoyable when you do it with friends. 

Thought to ponder: Did you know that an average American spends $700 per month on his or her car-related needs?

Work from home

Nowadays, employers are working flexible working time for their workers, especially for mothers and those who take care of their folks. Consider working from home if you need not be physically present in the office. With your time mostly spent at home, you may now consider selling your second car, if you own one, that is. 

Using cars less has its own merits:

  1. You may prolong the life of your car due to less wear and tear.
  2. You may save lots of money on fuel costs, car maintenance, and parking costs.
  3. You may contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and thereby improving air quality.

If these benefits are not motivating enough, what will? 


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